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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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DETERMINING SEX

WHEN A WOMAN IS PREGNANT YOU HAVE HER SIT ON THE FLOOR AND WHATEVER
HAND SHE LEANS ON WILL DETERMINE THE SEX OF THE CHILD. RIGHT HAND IS
A BOY AND LEFT HAND IS A GIRL.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM HER MOTHER AND INFORMANT DOES NOT HOLD
IT TO BE TRUE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GROSSE POINTE

James Callow Keyword(s): RIGHT-HANDEDNESS SEXISM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 09-25-1972

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FOR GOOD LUCK FOR A YEAR, A GOOD LUCKING PERSON, MAN OR WOMAN
1MUST RING THE DOORBELL ON NEW YEARS EVE OR DAY.

Submitter comment: I KNOW OF MANY FAMILIES BESIDES THE LOCKHARTS WHO BELIEVE IN THIS

Where learned: DETROIT ; TOLD IN

James Callow Keyword(s): GOOD LOOKING? HANDSOME?

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's Eve
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Year
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.42

Date learned: 01-01-1972

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TWELVE ANGELS

GREEN GRASS IS GROWING,
BY THE CHURCH DOORSTEP.
YOU GAVE YOUR HAND TO ( GROOM'S NAME ),
YOU GAVE YOUR HAND TO ( GROOM'S NAME ),
BY THE MAIN ALTAR.
YOU GAVE HIM YOUR RIGHT HAND,
THE PRIEST BLESSED YOUR WEDDING BAND.
YOUR EYES FILLED WITH TEARS,
YOUR EYES FILLED WITH TEARS,
BY THIS SMILING MAN.
TWELVE PETAL WHITE ROSES,
ON A LITTLE TREE.
TWELVE ANGELS HAD COME,
TWELVE ANGELS HAD COME,
TO SERVE YOU WILLINGLY.
FIRST ANGEL IS CARRYING,
A FLAMING CANDLE LIGHT.
SECOND ANGEL CARRIES,
SECOND ANGEL CARRIES,
A BRIDAL BOUQUET ALL WHITE.
THIRD ANGEL IS CARRYING,
A BEAUTIFUL CHAPLET
FOURTH ANGEL IS CARRYING,
FOURTH ANGEL IS CARRYING,
A GOLDEN WEDDING BAND.
FIFTH ANGEL IS CARRYING,
FROM GOD YOUR WEDDING VOWS.
SIXTH ANGEL IS CARRYING,
SIXTH ANGEL IS CARRYING,
ALL BLESSINGS FROM ABOVE.
THE NEXT SIX ANGELS,
A CROWN OF MYRTLE GREEN,
THEY PLACE UPON YOUR HEAD
THEY PLACE UPON YOUR HEAD.
TODAY TO MAKE YOU QUEEN.
O MY DEAR CHAPLET
ALL OF MYRTLE GREEN.
I AM SORRY,
TO PART WITH THEE,
THEN WITH MY FAMILY.
MY DEAR MOTHER,
I AM LEAVING YOU TODAY.
TO LIVE WITH ( GROOM'S NAME ),
TO LIVE WITH ( GROOM'S NAME ),
FOR HE AND I ARE WED.

Submitter comment: THIS SONG IS A POLISH TRADITION, USUALLY STILL SUNG IN POLISH AT
WEDDINGS. THE GUESTS GATHER IN A CIRCLE AROUND THE BRIDE AND
GROOM, AS THE BRIDE REMOVES HER VEIL. THIS SIGNIFIES THAT NOW SHE
BELONGS TO HIM. SHE PASSES HER VEIL FIRST TO THE MAID OF HONOR,
AND THEN ON TO THE OTHER BRIDESMAIDS AS THEY DANCE, SO THEY TOO CAN
SHARE HER JOY

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

James Callow Keyword(s): CHAIN ; RIGHT HAND

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Marriage
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 10-12-1972

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WAITRESS BELIEF ABOUT SILVERWARE

NEVER PUT SILVERWARE ON THE LEFT SIDE OF A CUSTOMER
OR YOU WON'T GET A TIP.

Submitter comment: THIS HAS A LOT TO DO WITH A RIGHTHANDED CUSTOMER
HAVING TO REACH OVER FOR HIS SILVERWARE.

Where learned: HOME ; SCHOOL ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION ; RIGHTHANDEDNESS ; TIPPING

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Service Table furnishing and decoration Implement to handle food

Date learned: CA1963-1975

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT MUST BE DONE TO HAVE SOFT HANDS?
A: NOTHING.

Submitter comment: TRANSLATED FROM LITHUANIAN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): AN ACTION (A) ; LITERAL ; PARTS OF THE BODY (Q) HANDS

James Callow Keyword(s): IRONY

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 02-17-1971

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PRETENDED OBSCENE RIDDLE

Q: WHAT DOES A LADY DO SITTING DOWN, A MAN STANDING UP, AND A DOG ON
THREE LEGS?
A: SHAKE HANDS

Data entry tech comment: 2 MORE EXAMPLES ARE IN THE 5 X 8 CARD FILES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): AN ACTION (A) ; PART OF THE BODY (A) HANDS ; PERSONS (Q) AND DOG.

James Callow Keyword(s): URINATE, IS ONE'S FIRST THOUGHT

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 09-00-1971

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PROVERBIAL METAPHOR

ALMOST COUNTS ONLY IN HORSESHOES AND HAND-GRENADES.

Submitter comment: FINE FELLOW

Where learned: FLORIDA ; PANAMA CITY

Keyword(s): GAMES ; NUMBERS

James Callow Keyword(s): CAN ; I SUPPOSE THE MEANING OF THIS IS THAT A HAND GRENADE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 00-00-1971

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WORDS OF WISDOM

CONSTANT OCCUPATION PREVENTS TEMPTATION.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): RHYME

James Callow Keyword(s): IDLE HANDS ARE THE DEVIL'S ; INTERNAL RHYME ; OBSERVATION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 01-20-1968

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PROVERBIAL METAPHOR

NO TICKEE, NO WASHEE

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; CAMPUS

James Callow Keyword(s): CHINESE LAUNDRY ; NO CLAIM CHECK, NO MERCHANDISE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 10-02-1968

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WEDDING CUSTOM

IN THE UKRAINE, IF A GIRL ACCEPTED A BOY'S PROPOSAL, SHE PUT A
HANKERCHIEF INSIDE OF HIS BELT, AND TIED EMBROIDERED TOWELS AROUND
THE ARMS OF THE TWO FRIENDS.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT RECEIVED INFORMATION FROM RELATIVES IN THE UKRAINE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): HANDKERCHIEF

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Proposal

Date learned: 11-23-1967

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NECK

IF YOU HAVE A STIFF NECK, HAVE A LEFT-HANDED PERSON CRACK IT FOR YOU.

Submitter comment: SOURCE NOT REMEMBERED

Where learned: NEW YORK ; JAMAICA

Keyword(s): LEFT HANDEDNESS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 01-01-1964

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

ON CHRISTMAS EVE IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA, A SLOVAK FAMOLY WOULD RUN TO
THE WELL. THERE THEY WOULD WASH THEIR HANDS AND FACE WITH WELL
WATER. THEY WOULD RUN BACK TO THE HOUSE AND THEN WIPE AWAY THE
WATER. THIS WAS DONE BEFORE CHRISTMAS EVE SUPPER.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT

Keyword(s): WASHING HANDS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve

Date learned: 02-25-1970

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SUPERSTITION

A LEFT HANDED PERSON IS THE CHILD OF THE DEVIL AND HAS THE EVIL EYE.

Submitter comment: MY GREAT-GRANDMOTHER USE TO ALWAYS TELL ME THIS AND TRY TO GET MY
MOTHER TO FORCE ME TO USE MY RIGHT HAND.

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): FUNCTION ; LEFTHANDEDNESS ; POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Curse

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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FESTIVAL CUSTOM

THE CHINESE MOTHER IN LAW WILL PLACE A WHITE HANDKERCHEIR ON THE
BED OF THE NEWLYWEDS TO BE ASSURED HER DAUGHTER IN LAW IS A VIRGIN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; CAMPUS

James Callow Keyword(s): HANDKERCHIEF

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage

Date learned: 00-00-1979

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MARCO POLO

PLAYED BY THREE OR MORE PEOPLE IN A POOL. WHOEVER IS IT MUST BLIND
THEIR EYES AND GO UNDER WATER FOR THE COUNT OF FIVE, UPON FIVE IT
COMES UP OUT OF THE WATER BUT HIS EYES REMAIN CLOSED WHILE HE IS IT.
IT THEN SAYS MARCO, THE OTHER PLAYERS MUST RESPOND WITH POLO. IT THEN
TRIES TO TAG ONE OF THE OTHER PLAYERS. EVERY TIME IT SAYS MARCO THE
OTHERS MUST ANSWER WITH POLO. THE FIRST PERSON TAGGED IS IT AND THE
GAME STARTS OVER.

Submitter comment: ALSO KNOWN AS POOL TAG OR WATER TAG.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; LINCOLN PARK

James Callow Keyword(s): HANDICAP

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Racing Chasing Fighting
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Water Ice Snow

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IF THE LEFT SIDE OF THE BRAIN
CONTROLS THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BODY,
AND THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BRAIN
CONTROLS THE LEFT SIDE OF THE BODY,
OBVIOUSLY, LEFTHANDED PEOPLE ARE THE
ONLY PEOPLE IN THEIR RIGHT MINDS!!

Submitter comment: GROWING UP AND BEING LEFTHANDED WAS
NOT AN EASY TASK. TODAY, STILL, SCHOOLS
DON'T THINK OF HOW DIFFICULT IT IS TO
BE LEFTHANDED AND WRITE ON A DESK
MADE FOR RIGHTHANDED PEOPLE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): LEFT HAND, LEFTHAND

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses

Date learned: 10-00-1987

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MISS SUZI HAD A TUG BOAT, THE TUG BOAT HAD A BELL.
MISS SUZI WENT TO HEAVEN, THE TUG BOAT WENT TO
HELL-O OPERATOR, PLEASE GIVE ME NUMBER NINE, AND
IF YOU DISCONNECT ME, I'LL KICK YOU RIGHT BEHIND
THE 'FRIGERATOR, THERE LAID A PIECE OF GLASS,
MISS SUZI FELL UPON IT AND BROKE HER LITTLE
AS-K ME NO MORE QUESTIONS, PLEASE TELL ME NO MORE
LIES, MISS SUZI TOLD ME ALL OF THIS THE DAY BEFORE SHE
DIED HER HAIR ALL PURPLE, SHE DYED HER HAIR ALL RED,
SHE DYED HER HAIR ALL POLKA DOTS AND IT ALL RAN DOWN
THE SINK, GLUG, GLUG, GLUG.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; LINCOLN PARK

James Callow Keyword(s): HAND GAME OR JUMPING COUNTING GAME

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Pastime C500.560

Date learned: 09-00-1988

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Right hand itching

If your right hand itches, you will receive money.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): RIGHT HAND

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hands, palms, fingernails
BELIEF -- Sensations and involuntary actions Itching hands and feet

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SEVEN UP

THIS GAME IS OFTEN PLAYED IN A CLASSROOM. SEVEN
PLAYERS ARE CHOSEN "IT," ANOTHER PLAYER IS
CAPTAIN. THE CAPTAIN REQUESTS ALL THE REMAINING
PLAYERS TO PUT THEIR HEADS DOWN AND COVER THEIR
EYES. THE SEVEN "IT" PLAYERS QUIETLY WALK AROUND
AND EACH TAPS ONE PERSON ON THE HEAD. THE CAPTAIN
REQUESTS "HEADS UP" WHEN "IT" PLAYERS RETURN TO
THEIR PLACES. ALL TAPPED PLAYERS STAND AND TRY TO
GUESS, IN ONE CHANCE, WHO TAPPED THEM. IF THEY
GUESS CORRECTLY, THEY GET TO TAKE THAT PERSON'S
PLACE; IF INCORRECT, THEY SIT DOWN AND THE PLAY
CONTINUES AS BEFORE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN

James Callow Keyword(s): HANDICAP: COVERING EYES

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Dramatic
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Guessing

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THREE MONTHS AFTER YOU HEAR THE FIRST JULY FLY, IT WILL
FROST.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): FROST FLY CHATTER FLY DRY FLY HORSE FLY KATYDID

James Callow Keyword(s): ALL IN HAND, NC, NUMBERS 7085 AND 7092.

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Natural atmospheric phenomenon

Date learned: 07-03-1970

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